If you’re not back to work after the holidays yet, you’re probably going back soon. Or maybe you have kids starting back to school. And if you’re like most of us, you’ve probably made a resolution or intention to be healthier in the New Year.
valuable meal on fast, processed, microwaved, or packaged food because they’re trying to save money, short on time or just too busy to plan ahead.
Here are my best tips, tricks and recommendations for easy, healthy lunches, whether you’re on-the-go or in an office:
Single-meal containers are okay for portioning out left-overs but never reheat in plastic! (even BPA-free is not safe for reheating). I prefer glass containers for food storage.
Reheating Your Healthy Lunch:
I don’t like microwaves. At best, they decrease the nutrients and antioxidants in our food (which is already suffering from a decline in nutrients due to soil depletion). At worst, they may convert compounds in food to carcinogens. There’s a lot of controversy about microwaves, which is not the subject of this post - so let’s just say that with all of the environmental toxins we face in our modern world, the use of microwaves is one that we can control. So why take the chance?
Here are my favorite methods for reheating lunch in your office or on-the-go:
At your Desk: I love the Crock-Pot Mini. It has a removable 20-oz. stainless steel container so you can leave the Crock-Pot itself at work and just bring the inner container back and forth to work (dishwasher-safe). Heats up leftovers in about an hour. Set a reminder to plug it in at 11 am and your lunch is ready at 12. Available in many different colors.
On-The-Go: The Hot Logic Mini is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made - I own two. They’ve traveled the world with me. You can plug it into your car, at your desk or in a hotel room. Holds a 6-cup pyrex dish, which is enough for two people. Takes about an hour to reheat from the fridge, depending on the amount of food. On road trips, I’ll plug in the Hot Logic about an hour before we want to stop for lunch and enjoy a hot meal. In fact, I did this over the New Year’s holiday. We were driving to Northern California and brought along some Christmas tamales. So much better than drive-through fast food! Also great for hotel rooms.
Thermos. Best for soups, chili, pasta and rice dishes. Anything that will fill the entire space of the thermos will stay warm for most of the day. Thermos makes wide-mouth, stainless steel, vacuum insulated containers in a variety of sizes. The trick to keeping food hot is to fill the container completely - so choose the appropriate size for your appetite. These are the absolute best for warm, healthy meals for kids. I like to preheat the thermos by filling it with hot water first. Then after reheating the food (on the stove or in the oven) carefully pour out the water and add the food to the top of the container and seal.
A healthy lunch doesn’t have to be hard, time-consuming or expensive. I pin a lot of healthy, leftover-friendly recipes on Pinterest https://in.pinterest.com/mccannnutrition/.
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Cathy McCann is a functional nutritionist, coach, writer, speaker, and mom, who is passionate about guiding women through the journey of healing and rediscovering themselves in mid-life.